Linde CryoPlants, an Aldershot firm that is the world leader in its field, officially opened its new, custom-built premises at Blackwater Park off Holder Road in North Town on Friday.

The firm was welcomed to its new home by Rushmoor Mayor, Coun. Brian Jupp, and his wife Margaret. He said the borough was pleased to have an engineering and manufacturing company of such stature that also had a policy of co-operating with local industry.

Also present were Aldershot MP Gerald Howarth and a host of visitors from Brazil, Spain, Germany, Lithuania, Sweden, the United States and other countries.

Around 95 per cent of the nitrogen production plants produced by Linde CryoPlants are exported to other parts of the world.

Linde's Aldershot heritage dates back to 1980 when Sulzer UK bought the Cryogenic Research Department from BOC and it moved to Blackwater Way off Ash Road. Ten years ago it was taken over by the large German gas and engineering company Linde.

Now it has a new name and new premises where a 40 strong workforce produces and tests nitrogen-liquefying equipment.

The new equipment now being exported will operate unmanned and can be controlled and monitored from Aldershot no matter where the location in the world.

On Friday Franz Habicht from the German parent company unveiled a commemorative stone. He said the Aldershot company had now found its place with its new products and would continue to make a growing contribution to the success of the Linde Group.